Broncos chief executive Dave Donaghy has defended the club’s failure to snap up Nicho Hynes, after Cronulla beat Brisbane to securing the rising Melbourne ace.
Brisbane had been in talks with Hynes and his manager in the hope of luring the 24-year-old amid their serious shortage of quality playmakers.
But Hynes, who’s thrived as Ryan Papenhuyzen‘s replacement at fullback and can also play at five-eighth and halfback, overlooked the Broncos to sign a three-year deal with the Sharks, beginning from 2022.
The Broncos’ failure to complete the deal continued their horrid run in recruitment and retainment. While they landed a crucial signing in veteran South Sydney halfback Adam Reynolds in May, their system has leaked red-hot talent like David Fifita, Xavier Coates and Reece Walsh in the last 12 months.
But amid criticism of the Broncos again slipping up in recruitment and retainment, Donaghy said the club couldn’t secure the signature of NSW Central Coast product Hynes because he wanted to move closer to home.
“I’ve got a relationship with Nicho, having worked with him previously (at the Storm), and last week he expressed a desire to want to be closer to his home and his family, which having been through something similar I can genuinely appreciate,” Donaghy told Peter Psaltis on 4BC’s Wide World of Sports radio.
“We are disappointed not to secure a player of Nicho’s talent but it provides us with an opportunity to bank some money and look at strengthening our roster elsewhere.”
Hynes offers a vastly different package to Papenhuyzen but has arguably had just as great an impact on Melbourne’s performance while filling in.
While Papenhuyzen is lightning-quick and a lethal threat in space, Hynes is a crafty playmaker who can slot into the front line and create opportunities with his brilliant passing game and match awareness.
But the electric rise of Sharks fullback Will Kennedy means Hynes will likely head to Cronulla to play in the halves.
Donaghy conceded that the Broncos’ negotiations with Hynes struggled to make progress.
“An offer’s an offer. At the end of the day you’ve got a buyer and a seller, just like real estate these days, so you step these matters through,” Donaghy said.
“Ultimately, we didn’t even get to the negotiating table because Nicho made a decision he wanted to be closer to family. Relocating the Brisbane Broncos to Sydney – that’s a bit of a challenging task, I think.
“We’re disappointed in terms of not being able to secure a player of Nicho’s potential, but as I’ve said to Nicho directly, we wish him all the best and will look to strengthen the roster.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!